So I got my company 159 2.4 JTM in Nov 2006 and have it only another 2 months before the lease is up. In the time since I got the car I have been lucky enough to welcome a little boy into my world and as many might know, this means that a revision of one's vehicular needs is on the agenda. Well, I thought about a Sportwagon but despite a decent enough driving experience with my current 159, a couple of things have pushed me away from Alfa into the arms of the Germans.
Firstly, and most importantly really, the boot is just too small when a pram and travel bed etc become necessary on long trips.
Secondly, a bad experience with the dealer when it came to servicing my car put me off Alfa, or at least, even considering buying one off him. The guy let me make what amounted to an hour long journey to collect the car after it's 1st service only to tell me it wasn't ready. No call. Nothing. He let me drive all that way before work and was barely apologetic. That really ****ed me off.
But ok, I could have got the next from another dealer. Just a couple of things put me off to make Alfa a no go this time around:
1 - the navigation system is shocking. I know Navis (as they are known here in Germany) are over priced luxuries, but as a company car driver I have to have one and if I have to have one then I want one that is decent. The Alfa's is prehistoric, simply awful.
2 - the engine is really very loud. I have driven German cars in the meantime, mostly notably an A6 and the difference is amazing really. The Alfa sounds like a tractor in comparison - unrefined to say the least.
But enough of the negative. On the whole I have really enjoyed my 159, had no problems at all with it and enjoyed driving it on the Autobahns of Bavaria. Whilst I was disappointed by it's pull in 1st, from 3rd to 4th an onwards was a rewarding experience. I enjoyed it's cruising at 200km/h plus. I still think the dash is great, the way the dials face the driver, the steering wheel's feel and response and of course, the cars' looks are still second to none in my opinion. But where German cars clunk, Alfas clack. There's something missing, and at the price you'd be wrong to hope for German clunkiness I think. As a value for money proposition, I couldn't fault the Alfa.
I will be sad to see her go, but equally I am looking forward to a more spacious and better spec'd (thanks to a 3 year lease instead of a 2 year) car that I will take delivery of in late Aug. I have also moved from manual to auto - getting lazy in my older age
It was fun whilst it lasted, my brief affair with the Italian lady.